Jose Mourinho explains why Wayne Rooney did not start against Arsenal

by Tanveer Arayan

Jose Mourinho has revealed why he left Wayne Rooney out of the starting team to face Arsenal at Old Trafford on Saturday afternoon.

The Portuguese boss fielded Marcus Rashford, Juan Mata and Anthony Martial against Arsene Wenger’s men, although Rooney came off the bench in the second-half.

He has endured a difficult week after he was pictured drunk at the England team hotel until the early hours of the morning following the World Cup qualifying win over Scotland.

Speaking about his decision, Mourinho claims he initially left Rooney out because of his pace compared to what others had to offer.

“I thought we were going to have the ball,” he said. “Arsenal are a team who let the opponents play.

“I thought we would have space and the ball would arrive quite easily to the attacking players.

“I believed ones like Mata, Martial and Rashford were faster than Wayne, better attacking opponents one to one in the last line. I thought it was the best option.”

He’s found himself in a difficult position for club and country in recent times after losing his automatic starter status, but it seems like Mourinho won’t get involved with his off-field controversy.

Rooney will be determined to fight for his place in the side and will need to prove he still has it in the locker when Mourinho hands him the opportunity.

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